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Local administrator account cannot install XP SP3

Posted on 2008-10-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Situation:  logged on as local admin, downloaded SP3 from MS download site; installation runs OK through extraction of files, then stops with the following message.  "You do not have permission to update Windows XP.  Contact your system administrator."

One odd situation about this computer which might be pertinent is that even though it was being used at home, the user was logging on as a client of a domain at a remote site.  This prevailed for months apparently after she left their employ.  I removed the machine from the domain and put it in a local workgroup.  Could there be some residual trace of having been a domain client?   The SP3 install had previously failed once before with same message when logged on as her local user account, even thought it was definitely in the administrator group.  I thought surely the admin account itself would be able to do this, but no.  Anyone got any suggestions?
Question by:Ronald Hicks
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

hewittg earned 1000 total points
ID: 22655541

Are you able to make another user account and assign as administrator



Assisted Solution

llman earned 1000 total points
ID: 22656106
See if, Error message when you try to install a hotfix or an update on a Windows XP computer: "You do not have permission to update Windows XP" will help.

This is referenced by, Steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3.


Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 22656275
To hewittg:  Yes, I can create another admin level account.  Are you suggesting that I do so, and log on with the new account, and then try the install?

To llman:  I had already seen those to KB articles.  The first only references two points that are not applicable:  (1) being logged on locally to a non-admin account and (2) being logged on as a domain user in a group without admin permissions.  I am logged on as local admin.  The second KB, in referencing the specific error message, references the first KB.  It also mentions disabling AV software, which I had already tried.  Nothing else seems relevant.  The machine had successfully installed SP2, probably when a client on a domain.  There is something else, something residual about having been a domain client I think, but what?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 22656282
I would recommend trying that, and if it works, we may be able to isolate the problem.


Expert Comment

ID: 22658830
Use gpedit.msc instead of "Active Directory Users and Computers" and see if the Administrator rights match step 2 of

Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 22665054
I'll be near the problem PC again in a day or so and will report back on the results of trying all that you suggest.  Thanks.

Author Closing Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 31503674
I don't know yet if any of this will work.  I've not been back to my friend's PC yet, but I don't want to let this to get any older.  I'll post again if I keep running into this wall.

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